tv [untitled] July 13, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
well the british summer sun it's sometimes. hard to. market. find out what's really happening to the global economy is a report on. as obama's donations stack up for two thousand and twelve what about those failed promises. united states. and speaking of those broken promises if the white house is beating around the bush will human rights watch torture screams be heard elsewhere. the libyan people right you know what we do. and spaniards don't seem to care now either at least not with a visible crisis at home so why haven't americans made the connection yet. there is very little journalism being done to understand you create some dangerous
circumstances for citizenry for democracy itself and as the media field seems to be changing which team will win out in the end journalism or p.r. and what does this mean for the future of the media. good afternoon it's wednesday july thirteenth four pm here in washington d.c. i'm lauren lyster and your watching r.t. well the country is in tough economic times as witnessed by unemployment or the national debt to name just a few examples now under president obama's watch it's gotten worse if you take figures such as unemployment it was seven point six percent when he took office now it stands at nine point two percent and obama argues the economy would have been much worse without the actions he's taken as president but of course that's difficult to. proves it to say so given all of this why is the president getting so
race earliest his war chest is to be more exact it is way beyond expectations take a look at this obama's reelection campaign raised eighty six million dollars in the last three months this is twenty six million dollars more than his campaign was aiming to have after this point and to compare it it is more than the republican contenders put all together they very good from around four million dollars each to just over eighteen million bucks in the case of mitt romney now chipping in an average of sixty nine dollars each obama supporters have broken records according to the president's camp take a listen. five hundred fifty two thousand four hundred sixty two people needed donations of this campaign in the first three months more grassroots support of this point in the process than any campaign in political history those people made more than six hundred thousand donations demonstrating the strength of their
commitment made history in the two thousand and eight campaign with a historic number of small dollar every day people we can donations of whatever they can afford and if you look at the compared point four years ago you'll see that this movement is even stronger. so what has obama done to get this kind of support has he delivered on the campaign promises that he pledged and achieved what people had hoped well let's talk about this let's talk about the war on terror one he's pulled a lot of troops out of iraq a war he promised to end but ten thousand troops may stay there the white house is certainly offering them afghanistan continues though he's announced a drawdown he promised to end the mindset that leads to war it's worth pointing out though that he wipes a war in libya and the guantanamo bay remains open and there are reports that secret prisons are remain open and allegations of abuse but he has ended some bush era torture practices such as waterboarding but he hasn't ever ordered a criminal investigation into allegations of detainees against george w.
bush and other senior administration officials of bush's now this is something that human rights watch is asking obama to do so laura petter counterterrorism adviser for human rights watch is she disappointed with obama she was in our new york studio to answer that i first asked her though you know bush hasn't been in office for a while it's been over two years what is human rights watch done recently aside from issue this report to promote a point of view that bush has committed crimes that obama should investigate him for which is that. it calls on the criminal inquiry and investigation into. the use of torture by senior level bush administration officials specifically george bush vice president dick cheney secretary of defense don rumsfeld and george tenet head of the cia and it documents a lot of the evidence that is was an involved a lot of the things that that the bush administration did in relation to its cia
detention program and the rendition of suspects to other countries along with what happened to the detainees during the time that they were in both cia and military custody and human that there's a hundred and seventy pages and it's very comprehensive it's also been two and a half years i'm curious why is this coming out so late. well as i said if we actually had been reporting on it we've been documenting evidence for an investigation for many years. and we released this report now because we feel as though it's just important to make sure the message doesn't get lost that just a few weeks ago for example the obama administration announced that there would be a closure to the derm inquiry which was the real only investigation of the obama administration has done into the past abuses and that inquiry just looked at cia abuses and only against one hundred or so detainees and also it only looked at what
these officers did that went beyond what was authorized and the problem is is that what was authorized is what was illegal and so looking at just what went beyond the authorization was never sufficient it was always to too narrow an inquiry it must be remembered that hundreds of other detainees not just one hundred cia custody were subject to these abuses and you mentioned them were also detained for many years i see and i and you mentioned that you have called for investigations in the past have you called on the obama administration to investigate george w. bush and senior administration officials in the past well i guess what's different about this report is reste the civically named for individuals for which there was overwhelming amount of evidence regarding their roles in the use of torture so it had more evidences come out since our last report and we added that to our previous reporting as well as including the public admissions on the part of of bush in his
memoirs as well as runs rumsfeld and do seriously think that the obama administration will launch a criminal investigation with this latest report and with these calls. well we hope they do but obviously there has been resistance to it and probably will be resistance to it but you know human rights watch reports on abuses world ride wherever there are abuses we call on the governments to investigate and there's no reason why we wouldn't do the same here in the u.s. if the united states has not and vesta gated in the past though and you hope that they will but they haven't reacted in any way showing that they will launch a serious investigation does this mean that they don't take what you're calling for seriously what i think that they we hope that they will take it seriously that the problem and the reason why it's so important is because it undermines u.s. credibility when they are trying to promote rule of law and human rights issues in other countries if the u.s.
doesn't prosecute and investigate their own abuses at home so we feel it's a really important message and one that we will not start making if the united states doesn't investigate then does that discredit your organization what is the point of what you're calling for if the u.s. doesn't act on it well we we call on investigations in many countries and sometimes they they don't investigate it doesn't mean that we're not going to stop calling for investigations we also call for a nine eleven type independent nonpartisan commission sort of truth commission in the report and we also called for the government to seriously look into the possibility of compensating some of the victims the courts have been i had a lot of the claims that these individuals who were subject to these abuses have made in court not based on the merits of their cases but based on the state secret doctrine that to litigate the claim would reveal state secrets at the same time gave in their opinions asked the government to look into the possibility of
actually compensating these people so we're going to be pushing for that as well so you push for that in the past. now that's something new we're going to be pushing for that and i'm curious is there a precedent where administration officials have been taken to task and investigated for allegations like the ones you're making against george w. bush and other senior officials what we regardless of whether there's precedent or not it's important that they do so in this case in other countries for example the u.k. they have established a. compensation fund in our compensating some of the victims there is there precedent in the u.s. where any officials have ever been criminally investigated for allegations like the ones you're making. not necessarily for torture but you know plenty of officials have been investigated for crimes and this is a crime. you know nixon was investigated during watergate you know there's plenty of him there's
a history of us looking inward and prosecuting and investigating people for crimes that have been committed whether they were for children on and if there's no precedent as far as torture what makes you think that that's going to change now with this report and this call. well you know this is the u.s. has an obligation under the convention against torture and it's a relatively recent obligation that they have and that obligation requires them to investigate these abuses not just that they prohibit them which the obama's administration has done but that they actually investigate them but i'm just curious because you say that you have this is a culmination of an investigation and that now you're naming george w. bush and other administration officials but it that in the past you've called for investigations as well if that hasn't happened what makes you think that's going to actually change. well as i said just because the government doesn't. doesn't abide
by our recommendations or comply with the recommendations doesn't mean that we're going to stop recommending it did in two thousand and five we put out a similar report with information that is contained in this report that our new report builds on that information and we called for an investigation and then now we're calling for there's three saying that there's actually more evidence now that warrants an investigation and for that reason because there's now overwhelming evidence it really should not be ignored anymore but i hear what you're saying that just because they haven't investigated in the past doesn't mean you shouldn't make these calls but if the point of them is to have governments like the united states do something in the u.s. event then then what really is the point are you achieving anything yes i mean we're keeping it in the public debate we're continuing the conversation we're creating pressure through our advocacy and through the media to make sure that this
issue is not forgotten that the book is not closed as they have gone the administration would like it to be i want to ask you because when president obama did take office when he did campaign he campaigned saying that some of the bush practices which you mentioned such as waterboarding word torture did you think when he took office that he would take action to investigate bush practices well that's what we hope for. it hasn't happened yet and we're going to continue to push for it so then are you disappointed in obama that he has not lived up to campaign promises that he made. i would say yes i mean he is obliged to follow the law and to investigate and prosecute the use of torture and he has not i was laura petter counterterrorism advisor for human rights watch now speaking of war the united states continues its over budget or role in fighting libyan leader moammar gadhafi without too much resistance at home the country is scrambling for cash to
pay its bills but it's not really nobody's really making that connection it's not the same case though for other countries that are taking part in the nato campaign in spain they say they were dragged into the war from pressure from washington a war which has cost in a country money it doesn't have my colleague r.t. correspondent sara perth was in madrid to find out why here is what she found out we appreciate spain's contributions to enforcing the no fly zone and the arms embargo the nato mission is on track a pats on the back for staying there not everyone feels quite so pleased with spain's involvement in libya least of all the spanish people the spanish government support the nation with spanish troops because they're not. the natural order of that and the parliament and the government that is the public opinion recent polls have shown
a large majority of the population and now against the military can pay this thing continues to swear in the abyss of economic crisis political and public on rest it's been. it's been carried out in the conditions of a tough economic crisis and conditions when the government sycophants a lot introduce a huge reduction of course in the social sphere within can something when there is a program of material reduction or disputes in a conflict which will be damaging to the country's economy. yet the u.s. defense secretary has still couldn't spain among others to play. a more active role in the nato mission and despite the collapse of the housing market and with unemployment at critical level changes in death and the extended its mandate for involvement in libya we don't think it's a human need to. resort to go to the media now because we didn't care about human rights. when we were still in. the equipment
libyan people write a year ago. welcomed in spain in recent years kentucky was even awarded the keys to the city on an official visit in the trades the ten mirrors that of many western countries until recently had quite a good f.a.a. and tolerated his regime. think of the operation against libya as an action performed so mean the strategic interests of the major powers such an example of double standards of morals cannot be justified by the international community nato members themselves have taken very different views about the action being taken in libya but less than half the countries even taking part the pressure on participants like stay to increase their involvement a commitment they simply can't afford right now. evidence of the internal struggles the country is facing it's not hard to find. here on the outskirts of it that you
can see signs everywhere free quite construction much of that works now stuff and most of those apartments. now those parents who have a military intervention in libya they've of course they don't support the dictatorship but they also support their country being dragged into war well they've been so still fighting such tough economic conditions so. they do it so out of the view from spain and here to help me figure out why that such a different view then the math of public opinion in outcry that we hear here at the here about here in the united states it's campaigner for progressive organization action david swanson so thank you for being here in spain we see people making this connection between a country that is broke and their involvement in a military campaign how come at a time when all over all you can hear about is the debt ceiling and the u.s.
debt problem people in the united states are not making this connection the united states continues in libya pretty much unchecked in a court of public opinion and now the short answer is u.s. corporate media is lousy but you know if the congress is feeling some pressure against money for the war in libya and if we can work together with the people in spain to push both our governments not to pay for it then maybe effective but you know what's unique about the u.s. budget is not the health care of the social security and the debt it's the war and the military we just saw the house of representatives passed a military budget bigger than ever before we've almost doubled it in a week more than doubled in the past ten years not counting homeland security and energy in state and all the other departments we have i think twenty five percent of americans in a poll. this year think the united states should spend three times the next competing nation on military expenses each year the united states spends about
seven times what china spends not counting all those other departments and nobody wants that if you put a bill in congress that said the united states can't spend more than three times the next competing nation on its military everybody in the public which would favor it but it would get nowhere with this congress and it's it's not part of the discussion but let's talk about the discussion among american people because that you see a different connection being made and it's spain i've seen on the street in portugal where people were protesting nato saying our country needs money we don't want that money going to nato we don't want to go into the military here in the united states you don't see that connection as often being made even though the u.s. spends half of its russian ery anding on defense why favorite clip is when a c.n.n. anchor was you know very strongly correcting her gath saying hey whoa whoa whoa we have debt and deficit in the u.s. there are few mongers but libya that's a totally separate thing why isn't there more of
a connection well either by the math is it here in the us well one answer is that they never hear about it on the radio or the t.v. i mean you have a discussion that includes the right wingers who want to talk about health care and social security but sort of centrist think tankers who want to talk about the recession and the lack of revenue from the recession and the progressive think tank years and economists who want to talk about the bush tax cuts that we still call the bush tax cuts they're now the bush obama tax cuts of course which is right that's a problem but you don't have any professional institution you don't have any communication system to talk against the war machine you just have the peace movement when nobody funds it would be fun i can tell you as someone who's worked in the peace movement for many years nobody funds it if i had a dime for everybody who has emailed me complaining about all the money i get from george soros i'd be rich. i could actually talk to george soros you know but you know what nobody does and there's no corporate media in the united states that
isn't complicit that isn't making money off the war machine and that goes for rupert murdoch too i mean this is a major crime boss being threatened with parking tickets here this is a guy who pushed to openly confesses to having pushed these wars that's criminal ok let's talk about the media war machine because when this war in libya first broke out the mainstream media characterized these rebels i think it's fair to say that many characterize them as they heroes of democracy championing democracy now recently we've seen a few mainstream articles stories coming out new york times c.n.n. saying that hey maybe these rebels aren't such nice people and reporters in the media not know that maybe they weren't such nice people three months ago. i don't think they knew and i don't think they cared or asked for the most part so why do they care now do you think. it's going to harm me well perhaps because it's been going on for months and it was supposed to be over in days why bother caring about
something that's going to be over in days not weeks perhaps because there actually is resistance in congress at least a much greater pretense of resistance than we've seen on iraqi or afghanistan in the several years and a large part of that is republicans who just hate obama more than they hate peace or justice but what it's significant it's a sign of life out of congress and maybe maybe that gives corporate reporters the you know the the room to operate and to begin to question with an interesting take i want to talk a little bit about the reason why nato went in and the reason why the u.s. line and the humanitarian mission and where that stands now are russian foreign minister sergey lavrov was here in our teeth and he was doing an interview for voice of russia the radio station and this is what he said about the toll of the airstrikes on civilians i want to play that. the airstrikes themselves go well beyond military targets. some residential what has have been here and
it's a cause of concern because the main goal of the resolution is not to keep the targets was the risk for the civilian population it's exactly the protection of the civilians and the civilians are suffering both from gadhafi forces and from the forces of the coalition. so the thing that civilians are suffering because of the coalition it's something that i've had many people on my show speaking about as well and talking about money to connect the money and the war efforts as you know we're been trying to do this is cost like three hundred sixty eight million dollars that could fund a lot of more productive humanitarian efforts you could argue an example of a crisis for the price of the tomahawk missiles we fired the u.s. could have purchased fifty two million mosquito nets to prevent malaria which kills one million people every year what do you think is as far as the humanitarian
absolution for this at all anymore i never really believed that but now there's always money being spent what do they need to be done about that it's not clear the american public ever believed it the american public has turned against this faster than any previous war which is much to its credit the problem is we don't control our government in washington you know not only has congress never appropriated a dime for war in libya and never authorized it and passed resolutions declaring that it's an authorized but allowing it to continue what they they voted down in this biggest ever military budget they voted down an amendment from congresswoman barbara lee that said get rid of that five billion dollars slush fund that let's presidents do these things without asking us they voted that down they said leave that in place in case a president wants to do this sort of thing again that's that's reckless and criminal and that's what this president is is counting on there's nothing humanitarian about bombing people's homes there is nothing to say that that isn't hostility has. the president's legal advisers now argue it's absolutely outrageous
i want to give this a special room for just one more minute if that's ok but speaking of hostilities how much money has to be spent for that to be considered hostilities because we've seen that congress is asked to move five billion dollars in funds to a lot of it accounts for the her. the millions of dollars that are needed to replace bombs that are dropped in libya you know how much need to be spent in order for these to qualify as hostilities for the obama administration for the obama administration whatever the big name i mean there's no logic to it and they're not following any laws or any precedent when the war powers resolution was passed in one thousand nine hundred three it explicitly clearly intended to cover all military operations so my answer is a single cent and that has been spent as you know much more than that has been spent in its wars and hostilities this is hostilities dropping bombs on people's homes is hostilities it doesn't matter whether the americans are there on the
ground or the americans are back at their desks launching the drones and then going home and committing suicide its hostilities. a single cent all right well a lot more has been spent in a single thank you for helping us make sense of this that with campaigner for great action david swanson now speaking of media we spoke a little bit about it where is it all heading in the united kingdom we've seen rupert murdoch papers tabloid shutting down for no holds barred tactics of hacking and the us you could argue the alternatives to needed it still struggling for money is cutting costs and becoming increasingly reliant on publicists for information and correspondent r t r t correspondent christine preside found that the press are leaving the rank and hordes to join us with this is. the person with the final version of this little commission to look at your. newspapers like the seattle post intelligencer the rocky mountain news and hundreds more have now
become relics from the past. last budgets that starts the presses at newsrooms nationwide. and mass layoffs through media have meant for fewer journalists to investigate policy and procedure we're losing the sense of accountability in government and business in our. life lives if we lose journalists who are now asking questions about what's going on and the numbers particularly dramatic with newspapers where revenue has been cut nearly in half while the journalism industry is shrinking a public relations industry is expanding at one time a one to one ratio between p.r. employees and journalists today that ratio is four to one with p.r. revenues jumping from three point five billion to eight point seven billion dollars journalists are simply overwhelmed by folks who are trying to spin and were trying
to create their own story you have the public relations folks the spin doctors if you will driving the cycle john nichols along with robert mckee wrote a book about it the death and life of american journalism in a sense we are becoming one of the most propagandized countries in the world short staffed news stations often use company video news releases or v.n. ours like this one if your characters are the first thought up to fly p.r. to skies as news the new treatment is called mimics press releases also often read on the air or posted on the web before any fact checking is done with the focus often on getting it first rather than getting it right good evening everybody breaking news tonight but we are cutting into our program with some breaking news where corporate and government p.r. departments are filled with former journalists who know how to sell their message they understood our media worked what. report follows
a good story as opposed to hype butch ward works for nearly twenty years as a journalist with the philadelphia inquirer but after layoffs he left to work for health insurer independence blue cross before returning to work as a journalist that revolving door between france and p r. and government is causing real concern about what the long term effects could be if the influx of spin doctors take over the message machine completely true there is very little journalism being done. you create some dangerous circumstances for citizenry for democracy itself i'll go straight to questions white house spokesman jay carney worked for twenty years as a journalist for time magazine now he's president obama's spokes person former broadcaster and columnist tony snow went on to serve as a spokesperson for president bush and jamie rubin went from the state department
under president clinton to executive editor at bloomberg view this is so common so it is a common practice and no one no one is questioning i mean or in a time when how can flunk are often one in the same and the spin machine works overtime the printing presses the home the question becomes can him even full force the state actually survive. washington christine for our team. and coming up in thirty minutes we will have more on that keep wagging the dog we will speak with a documentary filmmaker jason berman to talk about the future of media as well as the revolving door of p.r. and journalist what you just heard about also new it five here from russian foreign minister sergey lavrov he is here in town today and just a short while ago he met with u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton among the topics they spoke about missile defense the wall.